I came across this delightful article in today’s UK Daily Mail online edition.
Basically, the author is exploring the etiquette of hanging your knickers /smalls/tighty whities/panties/undies/big girl pants (etc) on the clothes line. The idea being that some people may be offended by the items and – by inference – cast you in the mould of the neighbourhood floozy for putting your wares on display for God and all the world to see.
It’s mainly focused on the UK, where I suspect some may take a bit stuffier line than in other countries. Apparently some women have had notes through the letterbox asking them not to hang their undies on communal washing lines (in blocks of flats) as it upsets other residents and puts some husbands off their food (!)
I live in the great call-a-spade-a-spade-and-if you-don’t-like-it-too-bloody-bad country of Australia, but I remember as a young girl (waaaay back in the 1970s when dinosaurs walked the earth) my mother insisting that underwear had to be hung on the inside of the rotary clothes line (the good ol’ Hills hoist) with the other clothes on the rows around them, which looking back, I’m assuming had something to do with the neighbours seeing them – we backed onto a big park area and had no back or side fences, so you could see what was going on in the neighbours’ yards. Come to think of it, at least one of my friends of the same age as me still hangs her clothes on the line like that – is this proof that we all eventually turn into our mothers?
These days I live in a house with side and back fences, so it’s not a privacy issue. But I think even if I didn’t, I’m not sure it would change the way I hang clothes on the line – whatever order they come out of the basket works for me.
What do you all think??
When I’ve had a clothes line I did hang underwear *but* there was a substantial separation between me, my neighbors and the road. The family underwear was fairly generic as well with no unusual colors or skimpy designs that would have acted like a flag to anyone within view. I personally despise hanging underwear, wash clothes, hankies, and socks on a clothes line because it was so much effort for such a little piece of fabric. Clothes line work best for sheets, towels, blankets, jeans and cotton shirts and dresses.
That said, I think there is something to be said for not displaying an intimate article of clothing in shared spaces or communal clothes lines. I really don’t need to know that my neighbor wears pink, lacy thongs…TMI. Or that the man next door has an effluent leakage problem that reveals itself in underwear with a “racing stripe” permanently staining it. Or that ratty underwear might signal financial troubles. I may think differently of the neighbor who hangs a pair of boxers on the line that has some skanky saying on the fly opening. And I’d probably die laughing if I ever saw a pair of those charcoal lined undies on a neighbor’s line. It’s OK to not tell the world everything about you and to keep some things private between the family.